Australia’s major sporting codes are again dealing with a significant COVID-19 disruption after Brisbane was plunged into a minimum three-day lockdown.
- Brisbane Lions players have been stuck in Victoria since Friday
- The Brisbane Broncos will fly to Sydney this afternoon ahead of Friday’s away match against the Storm
- A-League, W-League and NBL matches are also at risk of being moved
The Queensland government on Monday confirmed “significant” further community transmission of coronavirus since last week’s outbreak.
Greater Brisbane — including the Logan, Moreton Bay, Ipswich and Redlands areas — will go into lockdown at 5:00pm AEST on Monday.
The Brisbane Lions’ AFL home game against Collingwood at the Gabba on Thursday night has now been moved to Docklands stadium in Melbourne.
The round 22 match between the two sides that had been scheduled for Docklands will now be moved to the Gabba.
“In the interest of the health and safety of both clubs and the wider community we have made the decision to move the match to [Docklands stadium],” AFL general manager of broadcasting Travis Auld said in a statement.
“I would like to thank both clubs for their patience and understanding of the evolving situation.”
The Lions had been stuck in limbo in Victoria since last Friday night’s loss to Geelong, awaiting further updates on Brisbane’s developing virus situation.
The Lions trained at Port Melbourne on Monday after being told on Sunday they would have to stay in Melbourne at least another day.
The AFL confirmed on Monday evening the Suns would travel to Adelaide on Tuesday morning via a chartered flight from the Gold Coast.
The Suns are scheduled to play the Crows at Adelaide Oval on Good Friday.
“The Gold Coast Suns satisfy the current border guidelines in place and are able to travel to South Australia,” an AFL statement read.
“While the Suns are not currently in a COVID-19 hot spot, the AFL continues to take precautions as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
“While the pandemic continues to impact the community, the health and welfare of everyone in the game and in the community remains the priority and the AFL is committed to delivering a full season in a safe manner anchored in the advice of public health officials and medical experts.”
Broncos change plans
The Brisbane Broncos NRL team have altered their plans ahead of Friday night’s clash with the Melbourne Storm.
They were set to fly to Melbourne on Tuesday, but instead travelled to Sydney on a private charter flight on Monday afternoon and will remain away from Brisbane until after their round-five match against the Rabbitohs on April 8.
The team and football staff will base themselves in Sydney to prepare for the match against the Storm in Melbourne.
Following the match, they will return to Sydney to prepare for the Rabbitohs encounter on Thursday week.
The club released a statement on Monday afternoon saying a decision on the team’s return to Brisbane after the Rabbitohs match would depend on “how the COVID lockdown plays out”.
North Queensland and Cronulla are considering charter flights to the Sunshine Coast for their NRL clash on Saturday so they can avoid flying through Brisbane.
Gold Coast Titans host the Canberra Raiders at home on Saturday, with that match likely to go ahead because the city is not part of the Brisbane lockdown, although the Titans are waiting for guidance from the Queensland government.
Queensland’s cricketers will be relocated to Sydney this afternoon ahead of one-day and Sheffield Shield fixtures.
The Bulls have a one-day match against NSW at North Sydney Oval on Wednesday ahead of a Shield fixture against the Blues in Wollongong from Saturday.
The Queensland Reds have remained in Sydney since their Super Rugby win over the Waratahs on the weekend and will fly direct to Melbourne this week for Saturday’s meeting with the Rebels.
Brisbane Roar’s A-League clash with Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday could also be affected.
Meanwhile, Brisbane’s W-League side has qualified for the right to host a home semi-final on either Sunday, April 4 or Monday, April 5, which is now in jeopardy.
The NBL’s Brisbane Bullets are due to host South East Melbourne Phoenix on Friday.
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